If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. - Vincent Van Gogh

Creating Curse Words


Part of world-building can often be language-building. If you’re creating a new planet or society for your characters, then there’s a good chance that they’re language is a little bit different than ours. I don’t mean that they don’t speak English or Japanese or Ancient Greek, but that the words they use - especially curses - aren’t going to mirror the ones we use.

The thing about curse words is that they’re based around cultural ideas. Many revolve around one of three things: bodily excrement (i.e. shit, piss), sexual taboo (fuck, bitch), or religion/oaths (damn, bloody). The ones that fall out of that range are usually more along the lines of slurs meant to demean minority populations.

So why should you care? Well, your society might be a lot different than the kind we have on Earth. For example, Olivia Butler’s Dawn includes a species of aliens that has three sexes and whose bodily functions don’t really mirror humans at all - not to mention they had very different ideas of sex. Had Butler chosen to have these alien characters curse, it wouldn’t have made any sense for them to use the same words that humans do. In the Dragon Age video game series, elves are referred to as “knife-ears” to point out how different they look from humans, thus emphasizing their “otherness.” If there’s something about a group of people that would refer to them as an “other,” that can be used to craft new and appropriate swears for your world.

But what if your characters are human like? In Death Defiant, angels have a passive form that is essentially human. However, they are all sexless and genderless. While they’ve been part of and seen human culture, they can’t relate to slurs such as “bitch,” “whore,” or “bastard” because those are all dependent on sex or gender. Instead, their curses are primarily based on bodily fluids and pain, since the former is simply unclean and the latter is dangerous and can devastate their population. I didn’t need to craft a whole new system for this; it was as simple as just thinking about the culture my angels were raised in and picking out their values. Once you identify these, you can either craft new swears for them to use, or you can simply edit what they say and the way they speak to more accurately represent their culture.


Another fantastic fuck-ton of male anatomy references.

[From various sources.]

Lines of Continuity


What if the same line that describes this cheek…


also described this shoulder blade?


What if this breast didn’t end here…


but here?


What if this…


connected to this?


We might refer to such imaginary connections between unrelated body parts as “lines of continuity” or “rhythm” lines, as some prefer to call.


These lines help us in our observational work, to maintain proportion and achieve unity. Where one thing leaves off, another may pick up along the same, or similar, path.


Lines of continuity will vary depending on viewing angle and personal interpretation.


They can be used on a micro level, to link parts which are nearby…


…or on a macro level, between figures.


Courtesy of Babe Lab.


Tuesday Tips - TEETH!

Always a good tool to have in your “drawing arsenal”. In general, less in more. The less you pay attention to the individual teeth, the better. But, sometimes, a certain character or situation will call upon your knowledge of the pearly whites.


1 day ago (26579)
Anonymous SAID:
How do you draw people sitting? When I draw people sitting, the first part of the leg (that is going forward, not hanging down) always looks really weird. Please answer ASAP. Thank you!


im sorry im not really sure how to explain it??? LOOK UP REFERENCES AND TRY TO SEE THE UNDERLYING SHAPES YEAH

Anonymous SAID:
Hi! I really admire your art and I was wondering if you could give us a few tips about how you color skin? Like, the palettes you use for different skin tones and stuff. Thanks!!!


sure thing! i actually don’t have very diverse representations of skin tones on this blog since i primarily draw fanart of white people, but this is an approximation of the palette i’d use to color dean, sam, or cas in a basic picture:


(cas i usually choose slightly more yellow tones than with sam or dean)

these colors are in the order that i’d use them in. i start with filling in all skin with the base color, then build shadows on top with tones that are darker and redder than the base. depending on how i’m choosing to color, these’ll either be solids or with opacity set to pen pressure. the dark blue-green i rarely use just as a solid - usually i’ll lower the opacity or set it to pen pressure to get the deepest shadows in the skin coloring.

i’ll add highlights after shadows, once again either as a solid or with opacity set to pen pressure. then i’ll go in with the pinkish tone to get the suggestion of blood under the skin (otherwise, digital coloring can look super plastic). this i always lower the opacity for, and set to pen pressure with a large brush, so i can kinda sweep the reddish tone over everything. it’s most vibrant at the tips of ears, knuckles, and nose/cheekbones.

if i used opacity a lot while coloring, i have one more step. i actually dislike the look of low opacity coloring when it’s not blended well (i really don’t know how to blend) so i’ll go back in and eyedrop colors that i liked from overlapping low opacities and recolor over blocked areas as solids. so basically reducing the number of shades present in the coloring, but there are still more (and more subtle) shades than i started out with.

hope this helps!


A coolio fuck-ton of female arm angle references.

Credit goes to melsrefs (on tumblr). You should flood Mel’s inbox with fanmail so s/he’ll make more of these epic references.



A perhaps workable fuck-ton of running references (per request).

[From various sources.]

(….. There is no rational reason for it to be this bloody difficult to find human running references…….) Just recognize that there are a few different kinds of running. The torso can be hunched over or upright. Understand the weight distributions and what happens if suddenly stopped. (I don’t know as much about running as I ought to… I would suggest looking up “how to run” tutorials on YouTube.) O! And a common mistake is to make the front leg straight; DON’T DO THAT. The front leg, even when extending, is bent! The only time it’s straight (like in the green GIF) is when the body is rising high enough off the ground to allow the leg to fully extend.

[And, allow me to clarify some of the comments that’ve shown up on this particular post: The first image IS accurate. The figure isn’t moving up and down because it’s going incredibly fast. The faster you go, the less you bob vertically. The Quinto/Cumberbatch GIFs are great examples of that. Also, yes, if you’re going for practicality, the faster you run, the more of an angle you’ll stoop to. But, mind you, the Star Trek GIFs are from a movie. It would not be fashionable to be hunched over. They’re running aesthetically, not practically.]